Company: Sony Music
Reviewer: Frank Hill
Doesn't sit alongside the best of their catalog
Anders Fridén's voice, whether soft or abrasive, has always appealed to me. The debate over early melodic death versus latter synth-soaked (or even Americanized -core) sounding In Flames was never an argument I'd join in since he has been a part of all eras of their output. He is the center of which all else revolves. Really, I just like the guy.
What's missing from Siren Charms is a substantive instrumental compliment to the strong pathos of his vocals and the often obtuse lyrics. For the better half of the album, the lead melodies don't wring my emotions nor do the underlying riffs go along any paths that haven't already been worn down by their prior output. I like to have that with an In Flames record since they've already shown, multiple times, the capabilities of being a trend-setting band. Since Anders is more in focus, the overall result is a tamer release that's more introverted than aggressive; more progressive than thrashy.
Siren Charms isn't a bad In Flames record, but it also doesn't sit alongside the best of their catalog.